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    July 16, 2016



French mountaineers scale Terichmir

By Zahiruddin

CHITRAL: A team of two French mountaineers scaled Tirich Mir, the highest mountain of the Hindu Kush range, on Wednesday.

The peak was surmounted last time in 2001 by an Italian team.

The climbers, Quillet Thomas, 28, and Jerome Chazelas, 35, both electrical engineers, told reporters here on Friday that they had planned to scale Mir peak last year.

They said after staying at the base camp called Babu Camp at the altitude of 4,700 meters for two days to acclimatise, they moved to the first camp at 5,200 meters height.

The climbers said the second camp was located at the altitude of 6,000 meters and the third one at 6,700 meters, where they spent two days due to the inclement weather, especially blizzards.

They added that from the last camp, which was located at the height of 7,200 meters, they climbed to the summit of the mountainís peak at an elevation of 7,708 meters in six hours, the most dangerous and toughest phase of the expedition during which their determination faltered many times.

The mountaineers said they stayed at the mountainís peak for 26 minutes and found the weather cloudy with winds blowing fast.

They said the weather report sent in by the Met Office, Islamabad, over the satellite telephone was a great help, a facility, which their predecessors didnít have.

The climbers said they were reluctant to travel to Pakistan over security concerns but when they reached Pakistan and traveled around, they found the security situation quite different from which they had heard about.

They said the area from Islamabad to Tirich valley was all peaceful and calm and that they never feared for their safety. The mountaineers said they would advise other foreigners to visit Pakistan, especially its northern parts.

Abdur Razzaq, managing director of Tirich Mir Travels, a private tour operator, said a three-member Russian team was set to climb Tirich Mir.

He said mountaineering had resumed in the region after a break of 15 years and thus, increasing the chances of tourism promotion.


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